STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Posts Tagged ‘climate plan’

Stelmach getting heat from all sides

Posted by mhudema on July 17, 2008

Get off Alberta’s back:MLA
The Stelmach government is getting it from all sides as both domestic and international criticism mount against Alberta’s oil sands development.

Christopher Heffernan
Wednesday July 16, 2008

The Stelmach government is getting it from all sides as both domestic and international criticism mount against Alberta’s oil sands development.
Lloyd Snelgrove is not only a cabinet minister and close friend to the premier, but he has also been tasked by his boss to “create a strategic plan for developing the oil sands region.”
This weighty task puts the Vermilion-Lloydminster MLA front-and-center in the debate over the CO2 emissions being created by Alberta’s massive oil sands projects.

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Alberta Gets Failing Grade on Climate Plan

Posted by mhudema on July 16, 2008

Flunking grades for Alta. on climate change

Marianne White ,  Canwest News Service

Published: Wednesday, July 16, 2008

QUEBEC – British Columbia is leading the pack of Canadian provinces on climate change plans with its carbon tax while Alberta is the laggard, a report released Wednesday by the David Suzuki Foundation says.

As the premiers gathered in Quebec City for the Council of the Federation, where climate change is one of the hot topics, the conservation group issued a report card assessing the efforts of each province.

The report gives a good rating to Quebec, Manitoba and Ontario for their policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Not surprisingly, Alberta – which has no plan to cut back on emissions – rated the worst, with Saskatchewan not far from the bottom.

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Alberta: Eco-slowpoke

Posted by mhudema on July 16, 2008

Alberta: Eco-slowpoke

Suzuki Foundation says Alberta lags in commitment to improving environment

Jason Fekete, Calgary Herald

Published: Wednesday, July 16, 2008

CALGARY – Alberta’s carbon-intensive oilsands and weak climate-change policies have made it the environmental laggard in Canada, according to a new report from David Suzuki Foundation.

The environmental think-tank released the document Wednesday morning in Quebec City, as Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial premiers gather there for the Council of the Federation conference.

It finds that most provinces – namely British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba and Ontario – have set stronger climate-change targets than the federal government and are outperforming Ottawa on the file.

Suncor's on-site oilsands refinery near Fort McMurray

Suncor’s on-site oilsands refinery near Fort McMurray

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Carbon Capture: the false solution

Posted by mhudema on July 15, 2008

Carbon Capture and Storage A False Solution

Too late to be of use, much too expensive, ineffective, and unsafe Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

A fully referenced version of this article is posted on ISIS members’ website. Details here

An electronic version of this report, or any other ISIS report, with full references, can be sent to you via e-mail for a donation of £3.50. Please e-mail the title of the report to:

Carbon capture and storage mega-projects collapse

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is intended to reduce the impact of burning fossil fuels by capturing CO2 from concentrated sources such as power stations and storing it underground (see Box). CCS has wide support among governments as world oil supply is failing to meet demand while many countries still have large coal reserves.

Coal-fired power plants account for half of America’s electricity, and coal produces more carbon dioxide than any other commonly used fuel [1]. The coal-mining industry has been promoting CCS as “clean coal”, and even some environmental groups see it as a way of bridging the energy gap until renewable energies can be more widely deployed.

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$2 Billion Dollar Greenwash

Posted by mhudema on July 10, 2008

The cost of green
Calgary Herald
Published: Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sometimes, one just does what one must. Such is the case with the provincial plan to put $2 billion of an expected surplus wholly attributable to resource royalties into pumping the energy industry’s carbon dioxide exhaust back into the ground.

Recognize it for what it is, a $2-billion public relations campaign to arm provincial cabinet ministers against critics of Alberta’s supposedly dirty oil. “No, we’re not pumping CO2 into the air: In Alberta, we bury it. Next question?”

It has to be viewed that way, because otherwise it’s a lot of money for not much.

Environment Canada’s National Inventory Report on Canadian greenhouse gas sources gives the perspective.

Nationally, Canada produced 721 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent in 2006. Alberta was responsible for 234 million tonnes.

When fully implemented in 2015, the government’s $2-billion plan will capture and sequester five million tonnes of it annually.

That’s two per cent. Or it’s about 3.4 per cent of the 146 million tonnes of CO2 produced by the province’s electrical generators and its energy industry — perhaps the more reasonable comparison, as vehicle and residential emissions are scarcely amenable to capture.
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Oilpatch new international whipping boy

Posted by mhudema on February 19, 2008

CAPP aims to debunk impact of inaccuracies

Claudia Cattaneo

National Post

CALGARY – A new image of Canada–and particularly Alberta — is taking hold abroad, and it’s not a pretty one. Canada is increasingly being trashed as an environmental bum in highly unflattering portrayals in foreign media, while the oilsands deposits are painted as a freak show where Aboriginals are poisoned and the boreal forest wiped out.

An editorial in the Times of London on Feb. 1 described the deposits as “bituminous lakes” and urged the companies mining them to stop “this filthy habit.” A feature story in the Financial Times of London on Dec. 15 refers to incidents of bile-duct cancer among Fort Chipewyan Aboriginals and warns involvement in the oilsands will result in reputational destruction for oil majors. A Dec. 10 article in The Independent, another U.K. publication, about BP PLC’s return to the oilsands through its joint venture with Husky Energy Inc., is headlined: “Canadian wilderness set to be invaded by BP in an oil project dubbed ‘the biggest environmental crime in history’.” And an Aug. 19 article in the Boston Globe refers to the oilsands as “the new dirty energy.”

The environmental movement, which has been expanding or setting up operations in and around Calgary in the past year, goes even further with a publication called emagazine. com referring to Canada as “Nigeria of the North.”

While the debate in Canada about the merits of the oilsands has been raging for years, in contexts as diverse as climate change, energy security, wealth and power redistribution within the country and Alberta, it’s only in recent months that the deposits have been portrayed internationally as a global environmental catastrophe.

Indeed, they appear to be emerging as the new staple of the environmental movement, alongside causes like stopping the seal hunt and the destruction of the rain forest, though, given their huge importance to Canada’s economy, the implications of such a campaign are on a grander scale.

Greg Stringham, vice-president at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, called the trend “a new level of awareness,” of the oilsands.

“The first round of awareness was, wow, it’s really big. We saw the international attention and people saying it’s second in size to Saudi Arabia, and that led to Washington paying attention, too. Following that we knew there would be a new wave based on the environmental impact.”

CAPP has made the environmental impact of the oilsands its major topic of communication this year, Mr. Stringham said.

Part of the communication strategy is to debunk what is being said as inaccurate. Far from being a huge “global” source of greenhouse gases, the oilsands produce 4% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, while transportation accounts for 27%, electricity and heat 18%, oil and gas without oilsands 19%, other industries 14%, agriculture 8%. In a global context, the oilsands are responsible for 0.1% of global emissions, while the United States as a whole is responsible for 21%, China for 20% and Europe for 17%, according to CAAP.

Only 20% of the deposits are close enough to the surface that they can be mined, while the rest is and will be produced through thermal processes or new technologies with far less surface impact.

BP’s oilsands project would use thermal technology, not building a mine. Contrary to the suggestion that development is moving ahead unfettered, industry and governments are making huge commitments to reduce their carbon footprint, whether through carbon capture and storage or developing new extraction technologies that require less energy.

Canadians involved in the business say the emerging portrait is so unfair it’s insulting to the country and its environmental record.

“As a Canadian, to read in European newspapers that we are a laggard on the environment is offensive,” said Bob Skinner, Calgary-based vice-president at StatoilHydro ASA, the Norwegian global leader in carbon capture and storage that entered the oilsands business last year.

“Canada has been a leader in acid rain, migratory birds, the species at risk, getting lead out of gasoline, DDT, dealing with ozone depletion, all these things. If you look at the history, [these changes] were not started in Europe, they were started in North America.”

Perceptions of the oilsands as “bad oil” are confronting those seen as figureheads for the deposits — from politicians to corporate leaders — when they venture abroad. Will Roach, president and CEO of UTS Energy Corp., a partner in the Fort Hills oilsands project, said the subject was No. 1 on the agenda when he met with institutional investors in Europe during a marketing trip last month.

“The first thing would be, ‘Tell me about the environmental impact, we hear it’s terrible’,” said Mr. Roach. “So they are positioned before they start.”

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach got an earful during a recent trip to Washington, where environmentalists condemned the oilsands’ environmental impact.

Mr. Stelmach acknowledged in a speech in Calgary that “there are well-funded environmental groups who are trying to influence U.S. trade policy to restrict development here in Alberta,” making it urgent for the Alberta government to move quickly on the climate change file.

Jan Rowley, spokeswoman for Royal Dutch Shell PLC, which has also been targeted for criticism by the European press for its oilsands involvement, said the deposits tend to be associated with climate change, “which in all facets are picking up speed and urgency, whether you are talking about regulation and government roles, or industry and consumers.”

“It has the attributes that makes it easy to feature in a cause, perhaps,” she said.

Observers said the new international image had several triggers. One was the opening of offices or expansion of offices in Alberta in the past year by international environmental groups such as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund. Greenpeace spokesman David Martin warned in the media last June that environmental action in Alberta was about to enter a whole new era.

Since then, Greenpeace Edmonton-based activist Mike Hudema has been quoted frequently in the British press with comments such as: “In the tar sands you are looking at the greatest climate crime because not only will these developments produce 100 million tonnes of greenhouse gases annually by 2012, but also kill off 147,000 square miles of forest that is the greatest carbon sink in the world.”

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Greenpeace has Eddie’s number.

Posted by mhudema on February 19, 2008



Greenpeace has Eddie’s number.

The environmental group ambushed the premier for a second time on the campaign trail yesterday, dogging him over the Tory plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 14% over 42 years.


“Albertans have repeatedly told this premier that we can’t put any more tarsands projects online. That we need better balance and that the impacts are already too severe for Albertans to handle … in terms of their air, water and quality of life. But it’s something he has completely ignored,” Greenpeace protester Mike Hudema, 31, said, pausing briefly from using his bullhorn.

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Alberta Tories show their age after four decades in power

Posted by mhudema on February 19, 2008 – comment – Alberta Tories show their age after four decades in power

February 18, 2008

Provincial elections in Alberta are usually predictable affairs; solid Conservative majorities over and over again. It’s been that way ever since Peter Lougheed routed the Social Credit government way back in 1971.

Needless to say, a lot has happened since then. The price of oil has shot from $2.75 a barrel to almost $100. Alberta has become the country’s economic powerhouse. And the Prime Minister now hails from Calgary rather than Quebec.

But despite all the gains made on the Tories’ watch, the provincial election on March 3 may not prove to be as easy for them as past elections. Their age is showing. They’ve been in power now longer than Social Credit; for almost as long as the 42-year uninterrupted reign of the Ontario Conservatives.

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Stelmach, protester in eco-confrontation

Posted by mhudema on February 12, 2008

Greenpeace offers ‘Destroyer of Year Award’
Darcy Henton, with files from Renata D’Aliesio, Calgary Herald and The Edmonton Journal
Edmonton Journal
CREDIT: John Lucas,. Edmonton Journal
Conservative Leader Ed Stelmach exchanges heated words with protester Paul Baker in Edmonton, telling him the Tory green plan “is real, it’s achievable,” while some of the promises made by other parties would “destroy 335,000 jobs.”

Conservative Leader Ed Stelmach went toe-to-toe with one of his harshest critics on climate change Monday, moments after he released some of the details of his new “green plan.”

Opening the second week of the provincial election campaign, Stelmach was forced to defend his long-term plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when an environmental activist ridiculed it following a speech.

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Intentional climate disaster–Alberta v. California

Posted by mhudema on January 27, 2008

January 26, 2008 · No Comments

ishot-21.jpgElizabeth Kolbert had a sobbering article in the New Yorker** a few weeks ago about Alberta’s plans to develop tar sands that will cause huge environmental damages as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Alberta recently announced a plan to “cut GHG emissions 50% by 2050.” What this means is that they will cut emissions 50% from a baseline that will grow 50% between now and then, meaning of course that emissions will be about flat. Dillusional.

Even worse, the “cuts” they are counting on come (90%) from carbon capture and sequestration, which they of course have little idea how to do.

What’s also strange is that Alberta’s GHG emissions today are about 205 million metric tons, while California’s are about 500 million metric tons. Alberta’s population (3.5 million) is one-tenth of California’s (38 million). How do they generate all the GHG emissions?

ishot-31.jpgTo express even more frustration, here are California’s GHG reduction goals. If Alberta increases its GHG emissions by about 200 MMT (which I’m sure they will if they stay on the tar sands developmet path), and they don’t achieve the CCS reductions (which are very speculative in my mind), their emissions will largely offset California’s gains of 341 MMT (which is an ambitious an speculative goal in itself). Yuck.

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